Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Southside KMart, Parkersburg

(I've received a ton of viewer information on this location, so I'll be updating it shortly!)

The Southside KMart sits on Division Street in Parkersburg, and was built in the mid 1970s.  Several years prior, a home stood close to the property.  Two teenage boys, after a family squabble, were found guilty of setting the home ablaze, and killing several family members.  The boys were tried, the property razed, and the new retail store was put in.

However, that's not where the story ends, allegedly...

Overnight stock crews and other graveyard shift personnel have reported a host of paranormal activity, which they seem to blame on the arson/murders.  The store is home to poltergeist type of activity, such as merchandise waiting in carts ready to be stocked finding itself on the shelves when no one is around.  On the other hand, merchandise is also sometimes pulled OFF shelves, and found stacked neatly in the center of aisles.  Carts and other items move by themselves on a fairly regular basis, but the spookiest haunting tales come from the audio disturbances.

Workers routinely report hearing a phantom radio play.  The radio plays a variety of music, news, and even ballgames, but they are always from many years ago.  Even more eerie is the disembodied voice that comes over the intercom.  It is the voice of a woman.  Her voice, which is reported as sounding as if its coming from far away, or even under water, cannot be heard clearly, yet its apparent to witnesses that she seems pitiful, and almost as if in distress.

Itching for more haunted chain stores?  Click HERE to see the famous photo and read the tale behind the spirit who walks the aisles at a California Toys 'R Us!

11 comments:

  1. According to many who live in the area, who remember when this happened...it wasn't 2 boys. It was the older daughter, and son. No one was convicted, but everyone knew who set the fires. The family who died consisted of younger children, mother,father, and I believe a grandparent. The remaining boy and girl were adopted out. I have known people who work at this location and they back up the claims. I have been told that the back area (lawaway) is one of the main "hot" spots. No one sticks around alone back there.

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    1. Thank you for the update, and if anyone else has information regarding this story, I'd love to hear it! I picked this story up out of a Susan Sheppherd book, I believe, and never knew it would get so many page views! Thanks again!

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    2. I remember this fire well. My husband and I lived a couple of blocks over from the house. The daughter had nailed all of the windows in the tiny crowded house closed prior to setting the fire. When we heard all of the sirens my husband left to see what was going on. After several hours he returned home sobbing he helped them search for bodies by holding a spotlight. He was doing that as they found the body of the six month old baby. We had a girl the same age at the time. He didn't want her out of his sight.
      This haunted him for years. He still tries to avoid any conversation about it. The 2 that set the fire moved farther west and legally had their names changed.

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  2. The fire, termed "the worst in Parkersburg's history" as far as loss of lives, erupted around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, June 8,1969. Charles Bailey, 41, his wife, Ruby 36, and 10 of their 13 children perished in the early morning blaze. The fire was allegedly started by two Bailey siblings that survived the fie. Susie, 15, and Roger, 13, had escaped along with their 63-year-old grandfather Obie Bailey. There was an argument about Susie's boy friend 19 year old John Bumgarner. Susie and he were allegedly first cousins and, apparently, wanted to run off and get married. The father threatened jail and reform school. The fire appeared to be set with gasoline. Susie was never convicted because she was not properly mirandized. These facts were compiled from memory and articles from the Parkersburg New and Sentinel.

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  3. If these claims were true wouldn't the security cameras pick up things being moved?

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  4. The Parkersburg newsandsentinel.com did a 3 part story on the fire.

    part 1:
    http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/518134.html

    part 2:
    http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/518174.html

    part 3:
    http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/518201.html

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    1. Thanks! I'll be updating this entry shortly!

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  5. I work at the Kmart and this seems to still be true, especially when the lights are off at closing time. Coat hangers will move on the racks as soon as all customers are gone, the bathroom sinks will turn on on their own, and a weird sound will play over the store's walkie-talkies.

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    1. Wow, that's pretty interesting! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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    2. Hahaha. About 6 years ago... about 4 packs of hangers flew off a rack and hit us. We ran screaming.. and I never went pack. I live in Vienna. I just got an email in reply to applying there. I wasn't considered. But I'm thankful. Haha. As much as I need a job.

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    3. I don't blame you, Gabrielle! LOL, I don't think I'd want to work at a place where hangers flew off racks, either!

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